Thursday, March 08, 2007

Vets Need Support Too...

Julian Bond and MarshaRose Joyner
Greetings W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Fam,
I would like to share with you all a treasure I recently discovered, Ms. MarshaRose Joyner...Ms. Joyner, regardless if she believes it or not, is an American Civil Rights Movement Legend...She was one of the first Black people to integrate the Baltimore City Schools back in the 1950s and her family once owned one of the largest African American newspaper chains in the country...She along with some other committed folks formed the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition-Hawaii where she served as President for 6 years...The group's tireless efforts were responsible for forcing Hawaii into recognizing Dr. King's Birthday as a holiday...To further express her stature and importance in the American Civil Rights Movement, Ms. Joyner's name along with her mother's was recently added to "The Wall of Tolerance" American Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama...With this background in tow she has spent a lifetime 'irritating' as she calls it and getting the message out on the behalf of human liberation everywhere...I recently had the pleasure of interviewing this phenomenal woman earlier this week by phone...It was one hour well spent...I am still working on transferring the valuable info and such that she imparted to me to W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio and beyond...However, one thing I can immediately relay to you is that she told me to tell people To Get Out And VOTE...Too many people have sacrificed their lives and comfort zones so that others may have their rights respected...In these post-Katrina Crimes and Times don't be docile, irrelevant and complacent, but irritable, insistent and persistent!!! Bless The Creator for providing us with strong shoulders to stand on!!! To learn more about this beautiful and amazing woman please check out the following link:

The following is what Ms. MarshaRose Joyner wrote about the current Walter Reed Hospital scandal as well as the U.S.'s inability to truly "support the troops when they become vets" with historical references to provide further evidence of such tragic indifference (this is why voting is important):
MarshaRose Joyner

TO: Editorial Op-Ed

Sunday’s paper and the Sunday morning talking heads were full of the “Walter Reed Scandal” and Congressional people. I think this is hypocritical. I know for sure that you, the newspaper, as well as every member of Hawaii Congressional Delegation has been deluged with letters about the issue of poor treatment for the Veterans for years from Veterans, members of their families as well as Veterans organizations.

This is not new. In 2002 more than 300,000 veterans were waiting for primary care appointments at VA facilities. The American Legion launched a national campaign to alert the entire Congress of the problem.

Sunday, December 22, 2002 in the Boston Globe Wayne Washington wrote, “The leaders of America's most prominent veterans organizations say that President Bush is failing to honor past commitments to military men and women even as he prepares to send a new generation of soldiers and sailors into combat.”

Washington continued “The administration's support for rescinding lifetime health benefits for World War II and Korean War veterans and continuing problems at veterans hospitals stand as proof, veteran leaders say, that America is more than willing to lean on its soldiers during times of war but tolerates them serving as political props in peacetime.”

Since the beginning of the United States in 1775 there has never been a prolonged period when the “troops’ were not called upon in the defense of the Nation. Also in that regard, there has never been a time when our Nation has adequately cared for its veterans.

Veterans of WWI –the Bonus Army- had to set up tents in Washington to make their point to Congress but were forcefully evicted from the area by Major General Douglas MacArthur in 1932.

Women were not considered Veterans until after WWII and prior to this they were not eligible for VA benefits.

Some WWII veterans in more than 60 years still have not had their case settled suitably. And the WWII Filipino Veterans are continuously denied.

Based on the numbers of Atomic Veterans as well as Korean, Vietnam, Cold War, Gulf-War, and the present war veterans who have been denied claims, and services, I would have to say that the government just does not care about its people who have served willingly and honorably.

Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Pensions, Bonuses and Veterans Relief, states very clearly how Veterans are to be treated, yet the VA with the assistance of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has consistently refused and denied claims of Veterans, some going back as far as WWII.

The DTRA is staffed by contractors and is under the direction of The Defense Department.

The Congress also authorized the GAO to do a study of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and ask the National Research Council to conduct an independent review of the dose reconstruction program. In response to that request a Committee to review the Dose Reconstruction Program of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in the Board on Radiation Effects Research (BRER) was established.

The 2003-printed report of the Committee describes its findings and provides responses to many of the Veterans questions, which have arisen due to the unmitigated denials, based on the faulty data used by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Yet in 2006, they were still operating with faulty data and still denying claims.

The Veterans treated at Spark Matsunaga VA Medical Center say the treatment is excellent – and the facility outstanding, but the paperwork and red tape is unbelievable. Almost every veteran with whom I’ve talked told me that they had to file their claims and were denied at least three times before getting any satisfaction. Most just give up before completion. And those who get the claims their disabilities are minimized. Even the numbers of injured Veterans are eschewed. The Government told us that 23,000 troops were injured. Now we find that the number is more like 200,000.

At the Senate Committee On Education And Military Affairs hearing on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 General Robert Lee testified that the Guard did not have the money to test all of the returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans for Depleted Uranium.

How can the Military at every level not have the money to treat the Veterans? How is this supporting the Veterans – not having the money?

In 2006 the Congress denied the Veterans, as well as the residents of Hawaii, “The Right to Know” what biological weapons, Project Shad 221, were used on us.

How can the Congress and the media pretend they did not know? We are asked to support the troops, yet our own Government does not.

More MarshaRose Joyner:
*Corrections and Additions*
Aloha Ron,
It was a pleasure talking to you.
I read the blog about me and while I'm honored there are a few corrections which need to be made.
First, my mother's family (Murphy-Oliver)has owned and still does own, for more than 120 years, the Afro-American Newspapers.

Second, We were responsible for beginning to work toward establishing the Martin Luther King Holiday in Hawaii in 1986. The Holiday was signed into law in 1988. And we have been involved all of those years.
In fact we are working on the planning for 20th annual event. I was President of the Martin Luther King,Jr. Coalition-Hawaii 1996 -2004 . Now am past president and historian.

I was the one of first Black "girls" to integrate school in Baltimore in September of 1954.The date is important because most schools did NOT integrate that soon after the Brown VS. BOE which was May 1954.

Elmer Wesley German, Jr. (Buddy) was the one of two "first Black"males" to integrate Baltimore public schools in September 1953. A year before the Brown vs. BOE.

It was not a picnic for either of us. But that is another story.

Me ke aloha pumehana

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